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Lester B. Levy Second World War correspondence

 Collection — Box: WWII 13, Folder: 17-21, Folder: 1-5
Identifier: 2017-114-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains 32 letters and postcards written by SSgt. Lester B. Levy, USAAC to his fiance, Julie Kostbar, during the Second World War. Levy was assigned to the 28th Materiel Squadron. Although his letters show that he was a Private, later records indicate he rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant.

The collection also includes one letter that Kostbar wrote to Levy. In addition, there are four photographs, one newspaper clipping, a drawing of Levy, and several pages of biographical information about the donor and the recipient.

The letters from Levy begin while he is in training at Chanute Field in Illinois and continue through his overseas assignment at Clark Field in the Philippines. In the letters, Levy writes about activities at Chanute Field. In one letter, dated February 26, 1941, Levy writes about how he was court-martialed and placed under "post restriction" after the barracks chief reported him as AWOL.

Levy also describes sailing overseas on the USS Pierce. In a June 7, 1941 letter, Levy writes that it is the maiden voyage of the USS Pierce as an army transport. In a possible reference to the "Flying Tigers", the letter also describes how the ship was carrying "30 other fellows who are going to China as flyers to fight against Japan.”

Levy also writes about being stationed at Clark Field in the Philippines and his letters also describe the buildup in military personnel at the base. An October 3, 1941 letter refers to German Jewish refugees in Manila.

Kostbar's letter to Levy discusses the attack on Pearl Harbor. Kostbar also writes about a cablegram that Levy had sent to his father reporting that he was safe after the attacks by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor and other bases. The letter never reached Levy and the envelope is marked "Return to Sender. Service Suspended."

There is also a newspaper clipping reporting the death of Levy. Additional information provided by the donor, Kostbar's nephew, says Levy was captured after the fall of Bataan and died on July 3, 1942 at a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines.

Dates

  • 1940-11-11 - 1942

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions. For further copyright information, please contact the archivist.

Biographical / Historical

Staff Sergeant Lester B. Levy, United States Army Air Corps was born in Ohio on September 9, 1916 and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in October of 1940. Levy trained at Chanute Field in Rantoul, Illinois and arrived at Clark Field in the Philippines in mid-1941, where he served with the 28th Materiel Squadron.

Information provided by the donor indicates that SSgt. Levy was captured after the fall of Bataan and died in a prisoner of war camp on July 3, 1942. According to government records, Levy was interred at Arlington National Cemetery on July 13, 1949.

Extent

0.2 Linear feet (5 folders)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

This collection contains 32 letters and postcards written by SSgt. Lester B. Levy, USAAC to his fiance, Julie Kostbar, during the Second World War. One letter was written by Kostbar to Levy. Also included in the collection are four photographs, one newspaper clipping, one personal account, and three pages of biographical information. Levy died in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in the Philippines in July of 1942.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged by material type, author, and date. Series 1: Correspondence from Lester B. Levy -- Series 2: Correspondence to Lester B. Levy -- Series 3: Graphic Materials -- Series 4: Biographical Information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Jeffrey Kostbar.
Title
Finding Aid for the Lester B. Levy Second World War correspondence
Status
Completed
Author
Rob Strauss
Date
08/15/17
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Contact:
Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States